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A Comprehensive Comparison Of The Iraq And Vietnam Wars

2699 words - 11 pages

The Iraq War has become one of the most controversial and politically heated topics of the decade. It has been the subject of much scrutiny, analysis and examination by everyone from politicians and world leaders to the average, American citizens. The war began on March 20th, 2003 when American, British, Australian and Polish soldiers invaded Southern Iraq from Kuwait on a direct route to Baghdad. Congress had voted on October 2nd, 2002 by a margin of 296-133 to authorize the President to declare war on Iraq if they did not comply with the UN resolution to forfeit all weapons of mass destruction. Hours later, the Senate passed the same resolution by an equally firm majority. [1] President Bush stated that ""Saddam Hussein and his outlaw regime pose a grave threat to the region, the world and the United States. Inaction is not an option, disarmament is a must."[2] The Bush administration cited evidence that despite UN weapons inspections, Iraq was still in possession of a stockpile of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. Backers or the war, who were mainly Republican, used the large majority, including amongst Democrats, as evidence that the nation was "behind the war," and that it was mostly agreed upon by the country. Some Senators, however, stated that 133 votes against the war were not insignificant, and should be taken into account before further actions were made. [3]The Bush administration had been backers of a regime change in Iraq from the moment they were elected into office, ending nine years of "containment policy" towards Iraq. [4] This was a policy that had been in place since the end of the First Gulf War in 1991, which focused mainly on financial sanctions, no fly zones and ongoing weapons inspections by the United Nations Security Counsel to maintain control over Iraq [5] Despite growing tensions in Iraq, no major military actions were suggested until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Only five hours after the attacks, Donald Rumsfeld was quoted as saying: "Get the best info fast. Judge whether it's good enough to hit Saddam at same time, not only Osama Bin Laden." He then went on to say "go massive, sweep it all up, things related and not." [6] These quotes showed a clear intention to use the 9/11 attacks as a reason to initiate war with Iraq, and the Bush administration proceeded to do just that.By 2002, President Bush had incorporated Iraq and Saddam Hussein into the "The War on Terror" and had attempted to link them to Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the September 11th attacks. In 2003, Colin Powell presented the evidence to the United Nations to gain permission and support for an invasion. The evidence suggested the Iraq was in the process of stockpiling chemical and biological weapons, as well as outlined the human rights violations that Saddam had committed against his citizens. [7] Colin Powell summarized in his address to the UN:"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass...

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